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Velvet Goldmine [Blu-ray]
(Todd Haynes, 1998)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Channel Four Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,996,665,070 bytes
Feature Size: 21,225,129,984 bytes
Video Bitrate: 17.97 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: December 13th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4097 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4097 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), English, Spanish, none
• Audio Commentary with director Todd Haynes and Producer Christine Vachon
•'Theatrical Trailer (1:43)
Description: Set in London in the early '70's during the emergence of the glam-rock scene- this film follows the rise of Brian Slade,... a mythical rock icon who finds himself at the very epicenter of the pleasures and decadence of his day. At the peak of his fame, Brian and his wife Mandy cruise the nightspots of New York and mix with the likes of Ewan McGregor's Curt Wild, his spiritual twin and fellow glam rocker -- until Brian disappears after a publicity stunt gone wrong. Years later, British journalist Arthur Stuart delves into the mystery to uncover what happened.
This witty, evocative re-creation of the heady days of glam rock is loosely structured on the lines of a Citizen Kane-style flashback narrative, with a journalist (Bale) sent back from New York to Britain to investigate, ten years on, the disappearance of Bowie-like star Brian Slade (Meyers) after an on-stage assassination is revealed to have been a publicity stunt. Partly a film à clef which retranslates real-life events and personalities into a dazzling fiction, partly an unsentimental celebration of an era of (potential) pan-sexual liberation (complete with unexpected but fitting tribute to Oscar Wilde), and partly a typically Haynesian study of transgression, identity and the gulf between private and public image, it's superbly shot, edited and performed, and exhilaratingly inventive throughout.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide HERE
The rock-and-roll demon is hard to catch. Filmmakers stalk the image,
not the feeling, and seldom come close. Oliver Stone's take on
The Doors missed by miles. Todd Haynes uses live bait. He knows
too well that sexuality has an irresistible pull. The devil's music
demands hell fire and damp underclothes.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Velvet Goldmine has plenty of different visual styles used - representing the nostalgia of period, sepia stills, and grittiness of 2nd-hand TV video clips right up to the more pristine look of modern film. The single-layered Blu-ray from Miramax / Lionsgate seems to do a decent, if not stellar, job with a mediocre bitrate via the AVC encode. While difficult source material fro SD - the 1080P handles it quite well. Colors seem true without artificial boosting. Contrast is adept. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Velvet Goldmine and the video transfer seems like a solid representation with minor noise and some desirable depth.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 4097 kbps sounds fabulous when tested by the film. Velvet Goldmine is filled with music - the likes of Gary Glitter, Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Marc Bolan, and even Lou Reed. Both high-end and bass are supported with real strength. There are no flaws here and much to extol with some tight and crisp cords. Optional subtitle support the dialogue and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
It appears as though this audio commentary with director Todd Haynes and producer Christine Vachon is new for this release. Haynes is great and gets congenial support from long-time producer Vachon reminiscing about the production. This is a big bonus for the release and a must-listen to for the director's fans. Aside from that is a theatrical trailer and the Blu-ray disc is bookmark-able.
December 8th, 2011
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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